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Thirty Four Million Landmines Destroyed Since 1997 - 2002-09-13

A new report released today shows the impact of the global landmine treaty five years after it was first signed in Ottawa, Canada. It says more than thirty-four million stockpiled landmines have been destroyed, seven million in the past year alone. More African countries have signed on, including Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea and Nigeria.

Mary Wareham of the International Campaign to Ban Landlines, ICBL, says, “It’s quite important that the number continues to grow and we now have 125 state parties to the treaty.” She says another eighteen have signed but have not yet ratified the treaty.

The report lists nine governments as having used anti-personnel mines since May 2001, four less than during the previous reporting period. Pakistan and India were “especially deserving of criticism…both countries have engaged in massive new mine-laying operations along their common border.”

Ms. Wareham says Afghanistan’s government has said it will accede to the landmine treaty. Mary Wareham spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.